Wow! We’ve been celebrating Purple Day for Epilepsy for many years now. What is Purple Day? It’s a day of awareness for Epilepsy. You may know a little about Epilepsy, but there are probably many things that you don’t know.
Did you know that there are about 50 million people in the world with Epilepsy? Did you know that there are over 2 million just in the United States? This awful disease is not contagious and it is not a psychological disorder. There is also no cure.
Many people with Epilepsy respond well to seizure medications, but 10-15% don’t. For these people, surgery can sometimes be the answer. For the children who suffer seizures, there is a chance that they will outgrow them. So, what is Epilepsy?
Epilepsy occurs in the brain. The brain has billions of nerve cells (neurons) that communicate through electrical and chemical signals. A seizure occurs when a sudden excessive electrical discharge disrupts the nerve cells.
There are many types of seizures. Most people think that seizures look like what they see on television, but that is only one type. The Tonic-Clonic seizure affects the entire brain and the symptoms include loss of consciousness and then convulsions. Other types include: Absence, Atonic, Focal, and others (40 types).
My son has partial seizures, where he appears to faint. He has an aura, which warns him that a seizure is coming. Then he just blacks out. He has had some head injuries when he has fallen, but thankfully nothing lasting. We’re also thankful that his medicine has been controlling his seizures for many years.
If you see a person having a seizure, it’s important to know what to do and what not to do.
- “Stay calm.
- Time the seizure – Usually there is no need for a trip to the hospital, unless the seizure lasts longer than five minutes (not including the postictal phase), the person has more than one seizure in a row, or if a person is injured, pregnant, or has diabetes.
- Remove objects that may cause harm – clear the area of sharp or dangerous objects.
- Do not hold the person down or restrain their movement.
- Do not put anything in the person’s mouth: it is not possible for someone to swallow their tongue.
- Turn the person on his or her side as the seizure ends to allow saliva or other fluids to drain away and keep airway clear.
- Do not offer food or drink until the person is fully alert.
- Stay with the person until they are fully alert and thinking clearly. Reassure the person when consciousness returns.” (purpleday.org/aboutepilepsy)
If you want to help support those with epilepsy, I would ask you to learn more and today wear something purple! Thanks!
Disclaimer: I’m not a medical expert. All information is my experiences. If you have a medical problem, please consult your personal physician.
@2018, copyright Lisa Ehrman